The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134 wanted to build a new headquarters that would create a strong community presence and speak to the history and future vitality of the trade union. An existing 1960s elementary school building was completely transformed to include a new Union Hall with seating for 1,000 members, offices, a community gymnasium, and other amenities to service the union and the community. The leadership of Local 134 selected Wight & Company to define and construct their vision of pride – in their members, their work, and their new community – leveraging the firm’s Design Led - Design Build model for delivering noteworthy buildings in communities needing a boost.

$1.5 million value added

Collaborating with the 134 team, Wight’s designers and construction managers absorbed into a $25 million guaranteed maximum price $1 million of additional quality-enhancing scope. The inherent efficiency and speed of the Design-led – Design Build helped save Local 134 another $500,000.

Problem solvers deliver a year early

Wight’s interdisciplinary problem solvers were given the complex challenge to redevelop a vacant elementary school into a headquarters and administration building and integrate it with new construction for apprentice training and the project-highlight union hall. They also needed to do it a year faster than would be possible with traditional delivery models.

Designed to make a difference

Local 134’s neighborhood pride commitment included a welcoming 5,000 sf. community center. From day one, the IBEW guaranteed an apprenticeship that would lead to a job for any student completing the electrical program at the local vocational high school.

This “Beacon of Bronzeville,” as dubbed by Chicago’s mayor, includes the union hall, corporate offices, and a gymnasium serving both the surrounding neighborhood as well as IBEW members. The gymnasium is dedicated to the local community’s youth and reinforces the message of community engagement by the Union.